Abdullah is a cousin of my patron, Celal. He and his family picked me up at the airport bus in Van and took me home to dinner. His mother, smiling here right of centre, made from a secret family recipe: meatballs like malt balls, with liquid soft centers. Highly addictive! Abdullah’s wife Derya is in the university at Van. His brother Omer is principal at a village school that serves three towns.
BUDAY FAMILY MATRIARCH
A monolithic presence and great humour. I drew Hanife later from a photo.
BAHAR & HER MOTHER
At the family enclave, a tree-lined grassy enclosure with houses and sheep. Here also is Hanife the first time I saw her, drawn from life with her granddaughter Derya. The whole Buday family knocked themselves out to make me welcome. Bahar’s mother had decked her out in this red dress and shoes. Adorable!
AZIZ FIXING MY PHONE
The whole family knocked themselves out to show me a good time. They were cutting their trees. I don’t know why they sold them but probably needed the money. I did my best to conceal my horror but failed as the tears streamed down my face. So I drew the trees as fast as I could. The minute I stepped out of the car, my new iPhone shut down. I’d been warned by Turkcell that the government might block it, as it was American. So I was panicked. But it was just Apple insisting on installing a new system that exact minute. Aziz understood and watched as the new system took hold, reassuring me in sign language. Another cousin had a working copy of Google Translate and explained. We all had a good time anyway.